UK Ambassadorial letter gives Brexit updates to Britons in Spain

Published:  26 Jul at 6 PM
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British expats living in Spain are finally being officially informed about the government’s intentions regarding citizens’ post-Brexit rights.

More than a year after the referendum result was announced, British expats in Spain are being informed about consular efforts on their behalf and the government’s stance on their post-Brexit rights. An open letter aimed at all British residents has been released by the UK's ambassador to Spain, giving details of proposals made to date by the UK government during the Brexit negotiations.

Obviously, the letter doesn’t promise anything, but at least gives the expat community official information as to the government’s intentions. Ambassador Manley’s take on government positions as regards British citizens resident in Spain begins with reassurance that the uncertainty of their situation has first priority in the negotiations, adding that nothing will change until Britain’s formal exit from the EU.

The first task, he says, is to reach an agreement giving certainty on all the issues causing expats to fear for their futures. Recent meetings, he continues, resulted in constructive discussions over both sides’ positions on citizens’ rights. According to Manley’s letter, the key elements under discussion are working rights and residence status for both UK and EU expats. Britain is proposing a post-Brexit reciprocal deal protecting those already living and/or working in the EU, in the hope the European Commission and the 27 member states will agree.

As regards education, pensions, healthcare and benefits access, reciprocity is again the key, and any deal would apply to both EU and UK expats. In addition, the British government is guaranteeing the export and uprating of the state pension as well as providing adequate healthcare cover across the 28 EU member states, hopefully though the continuance of the EHIC card.

Manley adds the Embassy will continue to keep expats informed, and asks any who may have problems accessing the above rights to contact their local consulate as well as checking on Facebook or Twitter for updates.
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